June 9, 2016

House of Origin Deadline Pushes California Legislature to Pass Bills

The second year of the 2015-2016 California legislative session has advanced beyond the June 3rd deadline for bills to be voted out of their house of origin. Several key bills that Western Growers has been actively lobbying are updated below.

AB 2405 (Gatto, D-Silver Lake) – Oppose: This bill would have mandated California employers to provide eight hours of paid time off each year for the purpose of school activities leave for all employees. AB 2405 would have further burdened employers in regard to the administration of the paid time off policy. This includes calculating accrual, carryover, usage of the paid time off, pay out at the time of termination or separation, documentation of the paid time off and calculation of the paid time off. Western Growers was part of a large coalition in opposition this bill. AB 2405 failed passage out of the Assembly.

AB 2667 (Thurmond, D-Richmond) – Oppose: This bill would have prohibited the arbitration of Unruh Civil Rights violations made as a condition of a contract for goods or services. Western Growers joined a large business coalition in opposition to this bill because its provisions interfered with the fundamental attributes of arbitration and would likely be preempted by the Federal Arbitration Act. AB 2667 failed passage in the Assembly.

AB 2757 (Gonzalez, D-San Diego) – Oppose: AB 2757 would have repealed the longstanding 10-hour daily and weekly overtime requirements that are currently in place for farmworkers. This UFW – sponsored legislation would have incrementally decreased the existing threshold until it reached eight hours per day and 40 hours per week. Combined with the state’s new minimum wage law, the Gonzalez overtime bill posed a serious threat to the ability of farmers to provide jobs and additional work hours for hardworking farmworkers. Western Growers helped lead a broad coalition of organizations from both agriculture and allied industries in opposition to the bill. AB 2757 failed passage in the Assembly.

AB 2879 (Stone, D-Scotts Valley) – Oppose: Similar to the opposition’s concerns with AB 2667 above, AB 2879 discriminated against arbitration agreements and its passage would have likely conflicted with the Federal Arbitration Act. AB 2879 did not come up for a vote in the Assembly thereby missing the deadline to pass out of that house.

SB 1282 (Jackson, D-Santa Barbara) – Oppose: This bill would have required the labeling of seeds and plants sold at retail establishments that are treated with neonicotinoids and largely prohibited the use of consumer neonicotinoid pesticides. Earlier versions of this bill would have required neonicotinoid pesticides to be designated as restricted materials by DPR. SB 1282 failed passage in the Senate.

SB 1383 (Lara, D-Bell Gardens) – Oppose: SB 1383 will require the California Air Resources Board to approve and implement a comprehensive strategy to reduce emissions of short-lived climate pollutants. Specifically, the bill requires a 50% reduction in black carbon emissions, a 40% reduction in methane emissions, and a 40% reduction in hydrofluorocarbon gases below 2013 levels by 2030. Western Growers is part of a large coalition in opposition to this bill. SB 1383 passed out of the Senate and will next be heard in the Assembly. For details on how this bill will affect agriculture, read “Pollution Reduction Proposal Is All Stick and No Carrot.”

Please contact Matthew Allen at (916) 446-1435 for more information.